Posts Tagged ‘Renaissance’


Call for Papers ‘I take thee at thy word’: Trust in Renaissance Literature

August 16, 2013

What qualities compose trust and confidence in the Renaissance?  What signs call it into question?  This seminar seeks to identify points of congruence and contention in sixteenth and seventeenth century notions of trust and how they might be betrayed. From the stage Machiavel who discloses his plans to the audience to the kinsman who pledges his fealty, or the lover who exchanges his faithful vow, how did trust differ across such different domains as religious and political life or familial relations?  It is hoped that papers will cross a range of genres including early modern poetry, prose, and drama, as well as major and minor authors. The intended outcome will be to publish suitable papers in a special issue of Textual Practice.

This seminar will be part of the interdisciplinary MatchPoints Conference 2014 at Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, 22-24 May 2014 (  Plenary speakers include Robert Putnam (Harvard University), Eric Uslaner (University of Maryland), Gerd Achenbach (Lessing-Hochschule zu Berlin, Philosophische Praxis), Mikael Rostila (Stockholm University), Alison Findlay (Lancaster University), Svend Andersen (Aarhus University), Cheryl Mattingly (University of Southern California), Sverre Raffnsøe (Copenhagen Business School).

Organised by Joseph Sterrett

Please send 150 word proposals to engjs [at] by 15 January 2014.


Renaissance Literature Position at Cardiff University

March 18, 2013

  Senior Lecturer / Reader in English Literature 

  Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy

The Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy wishes to make the following appointment, tenable from 1 September 2013.

Senior Lecturer or Reader (Grade 8). Candidates will have an established national, or emerging international, reputation for excellence in research and a commitment to teaching and to public engagement in Renaissance Literature.

Find out more here.


Renaissance Men in the Middle Temple Conference

January 13, 2013

“The four Inns of Court were, according to Ben Jonson, ‘the noblest nurseries of humanity’.  All highly influential in terms of their members’ legal, political and artistic roles, the Middle Temple proved a particularly fertile context.  At the end of Elizabeth’s reign especially, the Middle Temple saw many of its members involved in the creation, reception and development of literature and performance.  Most importantly, perhaps, the Inn was a training ground for men who came to transgress and challenge societal norms, and whose future careers were to influence disparate areas of life, before, during and after the Civil War: from Sir John Davies’ work on dance, John Marston’s contribution to drama or Robert Cotton’s influence as an antiquarian to, in later years, the political impact of Henry Ireton or Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon.

The early modern Inns of Court have been the subjects of much recent academic work.  Last year’s publications of The Intellectual and Cultural World of the Early Modern Inns of Court, edited by Archer, Goldring and Knight, and a History of the Middle Temple, edited by Richard Havery, as well as the 2010 appearance of the Inns of Court REED volume, edited by Alan Nelson, have significantly added to our understanding of the Inns and their interactions with many aspects of early modern culture.”

Find out more about the  Renaissance Men in the Middle Temple conference here:



CFP Bonds, Lies, and Circumstances: Discourses of Truth-Telling in the Renaissance

April 20, 2012

This just in from St Andrews:

Bonds, Lies, and Circumstances: Discourses of Truth-Telling in the Renaissance

 An International and Interdisciplinary Conference

21st – 23rd March, 2013

School of English, University of St Andrews

 If a lie had no more faces but one, as truth had, we should be in farre better termes than we are: For whatsoever a lier should say, we would take it in a contrarie sense. But the opposite of truth has many shapes, and an undefinite field.

Michel de Montaigne, ‘Of Lyers’ (Florio translation -1603)

Can we say that truth has ‘no more faces than one’? Montaigne implies that human relationships with truth are straightforward, whereas our attitudes towards falsehood are complicated by its multiplicity. But how stable is the notion of ‘truth’? Does truth – like falsehood – appear in many forms, and if so, can we ever take it at face value?

Legal, emotional, and spiritual concerns — all vital to truth-telling discourses — are intimately bound in the Renaissance. This conference offers a forum for the exploration of their intersections. The study of legal culture has become increasingly central to the analysis of early modern literary texts, and legal paradigms are inescapable when scholars turn their attention, as many have recently done, to the equivocal power of language to bind people together.  We find the legal value of such bonds – in the form of oaths, promises and contracts – going hand in hand with interpersonal relationships and their emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Our objective is to foster debate about the marriage between two clearly connected fields: Law and Literature; and the study of early modern emotion. How do these fields work together?  We form bonds; we tell lies; we search for and construct truths: but under what circumstances?

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

– The connections between law, emotion, and obligation, and how the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries engage with these dynamics.

– The formation and evaluation of bonds in the early modern world.

– How public/private spaces affect attitudes towards truth-telling.

– The relationship between faith, truth, and honesty in the Renaissance.

– How belief and trust are generated.

– The binding power of language and rhetoric.

– Transmissions of knowledge, belief, and emotion.


Confirmed keynote speakers are:

John Kerrigan (Cambridge), on Bonds

Andrew Hadfield (Sussex), on Lies

Lorna Hutson (St Andrews), on Circumstances


Proposals for 20-minute papers should include an abstract (of no more than 200 words), 3 keywords, and 3 citations, and should be emailed to We are happy to consider proposals for panels; in the event that we are unable to accommodate the panel, papers will be considered on an individual basis.

All abstracts must be received by July 31st 2012.

We welcome proposals from researchers at all stages of their careers, working in departments of Art History, Comparative Literature, English, History, Languages, Law, Theology, and other relevant subject areas. General questions can be directed to the conference organizers – Rachel Holmes and Toria Johnson – at

In conjunction with the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature (CMEMLL), with generous support from the Society for Renaissance Studies.



Follow @CardiffShakes



March 25, 2011


IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BRITISH SHAKESPEARE ASSOCIATION KNOWN AND IMAGINED COMMUNITIES IN THE RENAISSANCE Saturday, July 16, 2011. AT UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING CALL FOR PAPERS I’th’ commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things. For no kind of traffic Would I admit, no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation, all men idle, all; And women too – but innocent and pure; No sovereignty – ( The Tempest , 2.1.147-157) The debate about different kinds of society, both real and fictional, was intense and wide-ranging during the 16th century and into the 17th century. In addition to the two basic types of social formation that actually existed – absolute monarchy and republic – there were, from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia onwards, accounts of ‘fictional’ communities of the kind envisaged by Shakespeare’s Gonzalo in The Tempest. This symposium aims to address the various kinds of representation of actually existing communities, covering descriptions in texts such as Sir Thomas Smith’s De Republica Anglorum, Jean Bodin’s Six Books of the Commonwealth, or Fulk Greville’s A Treatise on Monarchy, and representations in Shakespeare’s Roman plays, and those of Jonson, and other early 17th century contemporaries, of the various stages and kinds of political formation from tyranny to empire; or in Shakespeare’s two Venetian plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, and Jonson’s Volpone, of republicanism. Questions such as: what binds a community together; how are its values formulated and transmitted; to what extent are these ties dependent upon ‘language’ and upon an ‘imagined’ collectivity of the kind proposed by commentators such as Benedict Anderson, will form part of the discussion. But the symposium will also consider ‘imagined’ communities in the fully fictional sense of the term and as exemplified in texts such as More’s Utopia but extended to early 17 th century writers of utopian fiction. For the purposes of the symposium the terminus ad quem will be the writings of Milton and Thomas Hobbes. Papers are invited for a one-day symposium on ‘Known and Imagined Communities in the Renaissance’, and proposals should be submitted to the following address by Monday 30 May, 2011; papers should be no longer than 15 mins. duration (10pp. double-spaced typed A4):

Professor J. Drakakis

Department of English Studies

University of Stirling

Stirling FK9 4LA





CFP Shakespearean Moments Panel

April 28, 2010

Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) has submitted a CFP for a panel entitled:

Shakespearean Moments: “expectation whirls me round”

The panel will hopefully take place at The Renaissance Society of America conference in 2011 in Montreal.

For more information click here.

To consider Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” speech an audience must think about what the future might have in store. Like many other Shakespearean moments, Hamlet reflects on past experience and ponders what’s to come while seeming to be stuck in a moment.

Besides the character’s expectations, however, the playwright may have had certain expectations of his players and the audience. Similarly, the audience may have expected something from the title of the play, the place where it was being performed, or which company was performing it, for example.

From a publishing point of view, the title pages, author and even printer may have created expectations, too, for a reading audience.

Shakespearean Moments, therefore, include the expectations of authors, actors, theatregoers, readers, editors, critics and publishers.

Please submit proposals to Johann Gregory at by Tuesday 18th May 2010 with:

Title and abstract (150 words)

Audio Visual Requirements

Institutional Affiliation

A few lines about your work

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